When I was working on my master’s degree in creative writing I took a class called, I believe, The Art of Short Fiction. It was taught by a writer, Sam Astrachan, who had achieved some success in France. He was ancient and as boring as a maiden aunt.
The class was three hours long and the first part of each session was given to his tedious interpretation of our sometimes unintelligible assigned reading for the week, read in a quiet, mucusy voice from notes that were nearly as old has he was. When he finished, he asked whether we had any questions and, of course, none of us did because we had tuned out about seven seconds after he started. Once, instead of listening, the other students and I watched a student struggle unsuccessfully to stay awake. He finally woke up when his head, I kid you not, fell forward and bounced off the table we all sat around. Continue reading “When even short fiction is too long”